333D: Redheaded Girl’s Scary Witch Encounter Just a Dream

I am desperately trying to find out the title of a book I used to read to my daughter when she was little. It had to have been published before 1994. What we remember is that the main character is a little girl, maybe a redhead and/or curly haired. She may be walking through a forest and encounters a scary witch. At the end we discover that the whole thing was a dream.
The book, which we used to take out from the library, was a hard back.

G Mail Concerns

Featured

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well as we approach the holiday season.  It has come to my attention that G Mail often does not let our e-mails through.  For those using G Mail accounts, if you have submitted a Stumper and have not received an e-mail from us after a few days, please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.

Thanks and take care,

Julie

333A: Anthology – Tiger Fable, Dog Discipline, Bake a Cake

I read this anthology of children’s literature when I was younger than 12 (I’m 29 now). These probably are not definite, and I don’t know if I would recognize the cover if I saw it, but here’s everything I can remember from it.

There was a Chinese (or some other Asian culture, possibly Indian but I think it was probably Chinese) fable about a group of village children who befriended a tiger. The village’s men chased off this tiger, and then the crops didn’t grow that year, or some similarly implied consequence ensued. I remember this story having an illustration of the children and the tiger under a tree. Or the tiger peering out from the branches of a tree.

There was also a story about a group of kids baking a cake for their babysitter, but they botched it up somehow, getting the ingredients wrong. I think that the babysitter found out about it, and was so grateful for their thoughtfulness that she bought or baked them a cake herself.

Then there was a poem about a kid explaining how he disciplines his dog with a rolled up newspaper. I also remember an illustration with a full-view of a backyard with some kids building a tree house, and there might have been a sign that said “No Girls.”

I don’t know when it was published, but the style was similar to the 40’s and 50’s style used in the “Dick and Jane” books. It might have a similar title to Good Times with Our Friends (a book by Dorothy Baruch) because I asked my Mom for it when I was a kid, and she confused the titles. I thought I’d found it when I ordered Through Golden Windows: Good Times Together, but although there were many similarities, the tiger story, dog poem and tree house picture weren’t in there.

332Z: Exceptional Animals, “Goodness Gracious!” (Solved!)

Seeking a children’s rhyming picture book, published sometime in the last 10 – 30 years; describes major characteristics of several animals (i.e., big ears of a fenec, sharp teeth of something, big spots of leopard) using the phrase “Goodness gracious!”;  final page is “Goodness gracious, what a noise . . . from girls and boys!” and it shows children playing outside at recess.

332Y: The Figure In The Shadows (Solved!)

So here’s what I have:  I have very few details about this book. Read in late 1970’s-1980 (no later than 1980, but believe to be earlier).  Book (paperback) was a gift so I think it could be earlier than 1970s.  Geared toward 10-12 year olds.  Category: suspense, supernatural or mystery.

In the beginning of the book a boy (think it’s a boy, could be girl) is walking down the street when a newspaper or flyer wraps around his leg.  He looks at it and reads the word veni in Latin (I come or I am coming) and smells wet ashes.  Later in the book the figure/ghost is beckoning him to jump in a well (?) or off a cliff – he’s saved by someone, but that’s all I remember.  Hope you can help.

Edit: The author of this post found the title of the book before I got around to posting their Stumper: The Figure in the Shadows!

332X: Momma and Poppa Make a Midsummer’s Lantern on their Woodland Farm (Solved!)

I’m searching for a children’s picture book: The illustrations are in somewhat muted colors. I read it growing up in the ‘90s, but am not sure when it was actually published. The characters are momma and poppa, and they live on a farm in the woods. They have made a lantern (which has a face in it in the illustration) for midsummer. Momma walks through the woods, gathering strawberries and birch tree saplings into her basket. Poppa gathers eggs from the hens. Back home, momma makes a custard or shortcake with the eggs and strawberries, uses the birch saplings to make a maypole, hangs the face lantern on the pole, and they dance around it into the evening. Please help!! This has been driving me crazy.

332W: Wise King Shows We See That Which Is Sought

I am looking for a Children’s book, from the 70’s or 80’s. It does have pictures. It may be a Golden book, but that is just a stretch of my memory.

The book is about a Kingdom in strife. Lords and Ladies are backstabbers and no one is happy. The King is fed up with it

The King comes up with a plan: He summons a page. He tells the page he is concerned about the state of the kingdom. He instructs the page to go out (on his horse) into the kingdom and find all that wrong. Find that which has sharp thorns, plants that are poisonous and so forth.  Collect as much as he can (for show & tell) and bring it back in a week.

When the 1st page has left the castle grounds he summons a 2nd page. He tells the page he is concerned about the state of the kingdom.  He instructs the page to ride forth into the kingdom and find all that is beautiful. Collect as much as he can (for show & tell) and bring it back in a week.

The first page comes back. He is cut by thorns and has rashes from the poisonous plants. The King asks: “What is the state of the Kingdom?” The page replies that the kingdom is in terrible shape. It is covered with ugliness and poison plants everywhere he searched.

Shortly thereafter the second page returns. The King asks: “What is the state of the Kingdom?” The second page replies that “the Kingdom is covered with nothing but beauty”. He has the flowers with him to show it.

The King somehow make the point to those in the court that we see that which we seek; not only in nature but in each other. Of course that changed everything and from then on (as I recall) the Lords and Ladies interacted respectfully with each other, seeking to see the best in those around them. Great story. Applicable to today. Hope you can help.

332V: Witch Balls & a Cursed Child’s Palm

I read this book at some point during late grade school/junior high, probably between 4th & 8th grade, so somewhere between 1980-86. It was a pre-teen horror of the old school, by which I mean it assumes kids can actually handle seriously creepy, potentially life-threatening stuff. It was an older library book that our awesome school librarian recommended to me. Maybe published in the 50's or 60's? Definitely before the late 70's, given the age of the library's copy & when I read it. Unfortunately, there's no cover art I can reference as it had a green cloth binding with no dust jacket.

I don't remember much of the plot but what I do remember is as follows: A junior-high aged girl goes to visit her grandmother for the summer in a small village. Grandma is a witch (good, natch). Another woman has moved into town & grandma suspects her to be a bad witch. Bad witch tries to start a witch war. I can't remember if it was for a specific reason or just because she was a bad witch & that's what bad witches do. Similar in feel to The House With a Clock In Its Walls series or the Green Knowe books but a smidge darker. I believe it was located somewhere in New England, but I wouldn't swear to it. I *think* there were cars & telephones but the time frame was kinda vague. Or my memory is. And that's all for the overall plot.

I do, however, remember some weird specifics. The grandma hung a witch ball over the front door to see if the new neighbor was evil. She had a bottle tree, too. There were lots of nifty little folkloric witchy things like that. The thing that sticks clearest in my mind is that grandma gets a letter with what appears to be child's hand print. Grandma recognizes it as the actual skin of a child's hand & proceeds to place the skin inside an old Bible, which she wraps up tightly so it can't be opened because said palm skin is a curse. That scene has stuck with me ever since I read it, as one might imagine. It's pretty unique. Other than that, I can remember exactly where it was located in my grade school library but that's probably not much help. (Second from last bookcase on the left, third shelf from the top, right side, below the Nancy Drew books.)